Tom Rodriguez on playing a drag queen: “I would love to try that!”

Tom Rodriguez says he was so impressed by the actors of To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Neymar, that he wants to try playing a drag queen. “Iyon yung nakuha kong impression sa mga characters kaya naisip ko, ‘Wait, mga lalaki itong totoo, e!’ Hindi talaga sila ‘yan, they’re actors playing their characters and yet when I was watching them, I felt that those were real characters and not actors portraying roles


Bilang male lead ng My Destiny, ano ang natutunan ni Tom Rodriguez sa naturang GMA-7 drama series?

“Marami akong natutunan, maraming mga bagong challenges kaming ginawa dito.

“Siguro one of the best is trying to get to know your character more than trying to find out [about it]. Kasi minsan on-the-spot naming nakukuha yung script, e.

“Ibang experience din yun for me this time. Hindi ko rin na-experience yun sa last soap. When we get the script ‘tapos nare-revise on-the-spot, ganun.

“At least mas natututo kang mag-adjust on-the-spot, on-the-fly, yung ganun. At least natututunan ko rin yun kahit papaano.

“And I think it’s a valuable lesson din na I can carry over to other projects.”

Malaking hamon din ba sa kanya ang pagsi-shift mula sa gay character niyang si Vincent sa My Husband’s Lover (MHL) sa pagiging isang straight guy na si Matthew sa My Destiny?

“Actually since seven months na yung nakakalipas, na-shake off ko na si Vincent, e. Kaya I didn’t have that much of ano with the conflict na ipag-ano si Vincent ‘tsaka si Matthew.”

Kahit na nga sa MHL at sa My Destiny ay sila rin ni Carla Abellana ang magkapareha, hindi nagkaroon ng conflict or cofusion si Tom sa kanyang magkakaibang papel.

“Hindi, kasi napagdaanan rin namin yung So It’s You.”

Ito ay ang pelikulang pinagsamahan din nina Tom at Carla in between MHL at My Destiny.

“Kaya at least nakatulong din to get away from that [character conflict].”

Tatanggap pa ba muli si Tom ng isang gay role?

“Ah, yes, I would! I would if the material is compelling enough.

“Iyon yung nagustuhan ko sa MHL, e. Talagang kahit takot ako to tackle that kind of role.

“Kasi I felt I wasn’t equipped enough as an actor yet, kasi I was just starting out. Kinakabahan ako, sobra. But I couldn’t pass up the audition because of the material. When I read the sample script pa lang, sabi ko, ‘Wow this is brilliant!’

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“Siguro if I read the script na yung talagang ganung kaganda na mapapaano ako, na, ‘Wow!’ I would gladly do it.”

MACHO ACTORS IN DRAG. Naikuwento pa nga ni Tom na napanood niya ang To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar, na isang sikat na gay-themed Hollywood movie na pinagbidahan nina Patrick Swayze, John Leguizamo at Wesley Snipes noong 1995.

Sa naturang pelikula ay gumanap ang tatlo bilang drag queens.

Hinangaan daw ni Tom ang pagganap ng tatlong kilalang macho actors bilang gay characters.

“Grabe yung characterizations nila, pulidung-pulido yung characterization ng bawat isa.

“You know what? I would love to try that! Yung sobrang ibang character talaga and you have to get into the character.

“Iyon yung nakuha kong impression sa mga characters kaya naisip ko, ‘Wait, mga lalaki itong totoo, e!’

“Hindi talaga sila ‘yan, they’re actors playing their characters and yet when I was watching them, I felt that those were real characters and not actors portraying their roles.”

Nagsimula rin daw ang ganito niyang pananaw bilang aktor nang napanood niya ang gay musical na Kinky Boots sa New York.

“I was so impressed! Yung si Billy Porter, ang galing, it was such a challenging role!”

Nakausap ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) si Tom sa last shooting day ng indie horror movie na T’yanak sa UP Diliman campus noong Sabado, October 4.

DIREK JOYCE’S DEDICATION. Going back to My Destiny, tinanong naman namin si Tom kung ano ang natutunan niya mula sa kanilang direktor na si Binibining Joyce Bernal.

“Si Direk Joyce, masarap kasama and you can really see her dedication.

“’Andun siya lagi, she’s very active, she’s very present every moment, and she does care about the material, about the story.

“Nakikita mo na ipinaglalaban niya rin, e. Ipinaglalaban niya rin.

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“There are times na... there are differences of opinions among the creatives on the set. You could see na they’re really... tina-try niya ring ipaglaban yung essence, or yung kung ano yung story na ginagawa niya.

“Alam mong may vision siya, na may isip siyang scope para sa proyektong iyon.”


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